The Zabuli Education Center provides free education to Afghan girls in kindergarten through grade 12. Where many schools fail to meet even rudimentary standards, our school is exemplary. A Ministry of Education official said of the Zabuli Education Center: “It is perfect.”
Founded by Afghan native Razia Jan, the school was named for the late Abdul Madjid Zabuli, a businessman and philanthropist who improved education in Afghanistan. The school is located 30 miles outside of Kabul in Deh’Subz, a district with roughly 100,000 residents including a large number of nomadic families.
Rebuilt in 2007, our three-story building sits on the historic site of a former boys’ school. The gift of a beloved Afghan king in the 1930s, the original building had been all but destroyed by 30 years of war. Read more about our history here.
In addition to providing young Afghans with an education on par with Western schools, we also supply our students with uniforms, shoes, warm coats, and meals.
We hire dedicated, qualified teachers, which is challenging given the scarcity of trained teachers in Afghanistan. We recruit individuals who meet our requirements, and we pay them 40%-60% more than typical Afghan schools. Each of our teachers has graduated high school and many are credentialed or completing teacher training. We hire locally when possible and provide daily transport to our teachers who live in Kabul.
Our students are from poor families. Most have experienced extreme hardship. They have many chores to do at home, caring for younger siblings and helping with the work of survival in a war-torn country.
Students range in age from 4 to 22. Prior to enrollment, students take placement tests to assess academic level, as students of the same age can vary widely in grade level. All students wear uniforms, which is a help to poor families that may have extremely limited resources for obtaining clothing and maintaining clean laundry.
Our students are highly motivated to come to school. We provide transportation to many of our girls, but others walk a considerable distance — 45 minutes each way or more — in order to attend the Zabuli Education Center. Unlike some of their Western peers who need to be prodded out of bed and ushered to school, our students literally come running and excited to learn.